The start of every month can be likened to a fresh start. And as with all fresh opportunities, there are things to do at the start of every month that should help increase your productivity.
Keeping an organized monthly schedule is the key to building a productive month. A popular maxim says “failing to plan is planning to fail”. You might not necessarily have a failed month but having a planned month keeps you organized.
Organizing your month helps you set priorities right. For example, if you have planned to go to the market on the 3rd of April, the only reason you would be doing otherwise is because of an emergency.
I kind of love the idea of a monthly plan just because of the organization. I mean, when I make my weekly meal plan, I know what to eat and when to eat. So why shouldn’t I do that for my monthly plan?
So, let’s jump right into 6 things to do at the start of every month.
1. Set a Monthly Goal
One of the things to do at the start of every month is to set your monthly goals. Goals are a set of things you want to achieve. Setting monthly goals can help you achieve maximum productivity as an individual.
Your goals could be financial, social, or academic goals. Whatever goal you aim to achieve, make sure it is something realistic and achievable.
I once had a goal to write 20 articles in a month. When I look back, I just laugh because I was going to stretch my limit. While writing 20 articles in a month is achievable, I had to add school tasks, other freelance gigs, and self-development courses. It just wasn’t realistic at that point.
So, when setting your goals for the month, consider other factors that can hinder you and see how you can work through them. Then break down how you wish to achieve that into weekly goals.
For example, if I decide to write 10 articles this month, my weekly goal will be to write 3 articles and my daily goal will be to write at least 700 words per day.
2. Create a Monthly Budget
I have been a victim of unbudgeted spending every time I receive my salary and this has made me go broke faster than you can say “sapa”.
One thing I began doing at the beginning of this year was to create a budget to guide just how I intend to spend my money. It hasn’t stopped me from going broke; it has just stopped me from going broke faster.
Creating a monthly budget is one of the things to do at the start of every month. If you have a stable source of income, it is best to prepare a spending plan, an investment plan, and a savings plan, if you can afford all three.
The good thing about creating a budget is that it gives you an idea of how much to spend and helps you know when you are over-spending. If your budget for expenses is
N50,000, the moment you spend above that, you know you are over-spending.
3. Make a Food Plan
Anyone who knows me knows that food is my favourite thing about being human. Honestly, I really feel for plants because how can I be a plant and not be able to eat pounded yam?
A monthly food plan is a great way to get the month rolling. You know as a student, I am constantly worrying about what to eat when I get home, a situation I could have prevented if I had created a plan from the beginning.
Making a food plan saves you from constant thinking like me. It also gives you the scope of how much food you consume, if you need to add more spice to your food selection, or even just how nutritious your meals are.
Once, I cooked beans (with varieties of course) for three straight days and it took the intervention of my mates to call me to order. How would I know when my favourite meal is beans!
4. Plan Out Your Outdoor Activities
For those of us who work remotely, it can be so tempting to stay indoors and not even notice. I mean, since the school closed, my routine has been waking up, writing, learning how to code, talking to a few people, using Twitter, praying, and sleeping.
Is it good? No
Will I stop? I’m working on that
A good thing to do at the start of every month is to make plans for recreational activities. C’mon! The outside world is fun. You can’t spend all your time working or staying indoors.
To spice it up, you can even make plans with friends so you don’t go back to your shell when you should be out sightseeing.
There are so many things you can do. Attend a wedding (an owambe is my favourite part of Saturdays), watch a football match, visit a famous site and the likes.
As simple as these activities seem, they are a good way to spice up your month.
5. Pick Up a 30-Days Challenge
To have a productive month, one of the things to do at the start of every month is to pick up a 30-days challenge.
A 30-days monthly challenge is a set of actionable steps taken to help you achieve a goal. You have 30 days in a month (sorry, February), and using those days to meet up with one challenge, one step at a time, is a pretty good idea.
Choosing what challenge to face should not be a hard thing. To begin with, you can decide to pick any part of your life you wish to improve on and work on it.
For example, if your challenge is to improve your body shape, you can pick an exercise challenge to focus on for the month. Like how I started working out on my abs for three months straight because I was beginning to eat too much.
If you’re still lacking ideas on what challenge to pick for a new month, check out Pinterest for more templates.
5. Do a Reflection on the Previous Month
It’s so easy to get caught up in the new month frenzy, we tend to forget that the past month was just yesterday.
A good thing to do at the start of every month is to take a look at the past month and take stock of everything that happened.
- What did you achieve?
- What did you not achieve?
- What mistakes did you make?
- What lessons did you learn?
- How do you intend to improve?
You can use these questions to take a reflection on how the past month went. The answers you get can then be used to shape your goals for the next month.
Having a 30-day plan for the new month has numerous advantages. Aside from keeping you focused, it helps you stay organized and productive when you follow through.
While writing this piece, I made up my mind to work on number 6 for April. What tip hit you hard? Let me know in the comment section.
What should I do to start the month strong?
To start the month strong, make sure you set goals that are realistic and achievable by writing down exactly how you wish to work on them.
What should I add to my monthly to-do list?
When making your monthly to-do list, make a list of things you couldn’t do the last month and add it to the current month’s list.
What should I do monthly?
Every month, it is necessary that you set out time to clean the house thoroughly.